“The Bold Fenian Men (I)”


"See who comes over the red-blossomed heather, Their green banners kissing the pure mountain air...." Fenians come from all over Ireland, boasting of their victories (!) over the English. Refrain "Out and make way for the bold Fenian men!"


The Fenians were an Irish Independence organization -- but they were also among the most absurdly inept plotters in history. The depth of their feelings are illustrated by the fact that they kept on after an endless litany of failures. (For examples, see "A Fenian Song," "The British Man-of-War," and "The Smashing of the Van (I)." Robert Kee, in _The Bold Fenian Men_, being Volume II of _The Green Flag_, p. 37, perhaps sums up their record best: "This iron, selfless dedication to a cause which, though often viewed with sympathy by the Irish people, was made consistently ludicrous by events, became an important feature of the Fenian movement.)

This song, however, appears to come from their heady early days, when they were still growing and had not started to mess up. For this early part of their history, see "James Stephens, the Gallant Fenian Boy." - RBW

Broadsides LOCSinging sb10126b and Bodleian Harding B 18(168): H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site.

Broadsides LOCSinging sb10126b and Bodleian Harding B 18(168) are duplicates. - BS


  • Bodleian, Harding B 18(168), "The Fenian Men", H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878
  • LOCSinging, sb10126b, "The Fenian Men", H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878; also as201000, "The Fenian Men"


  1. PGalvin, pp. 51-52, "The Bold Fenian Men" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 323, "The Bold Fenian Men" (1 text)
  3. BI, PGa051


Author: Michael Scanlon
Earliest date: 1864 ("first printed in Chicago", according to Zimmermann p. 48 fn. 65)
Keywords: Ireland rebellion
Found in: Ireland